Chelmsford City Council

Al Pacino, Doctor Who, horror and a right Carry On

A special night dedicated to the acting powerhouse that is Al Pacino will be taking place at the Chelmsford Picture House on Thursday 11 October. Pacino is the multi-award-winning method actor who has starred in the Godfather films, Scarface and Donnie Brasco, to name just a few.

The Pacino Evening starts with a screening of Al's classic performance as a whistleblowing cop who exposes corruption in the NYPD in the Sidney Lumet-directed Serpico (18). The role resulted in Pacino's first 'Best Actor' Oscar nomination. After the screening, there will be a Q&A session with renowned film critic Mark Searby, who has written a book about Pacino. This is a real treat for film geeks or those just interested in learning a little more about one of Hollywood's greatest actors.

Children and adults will have a rare opportunity to see Doctor Who on the big screen when Doctor Who and the Daleks (U) gets a special showing at 2.30pm on Thursday 25 October. First released in 1965, the film stars Peter Cushing in the first celluloid outing for the Doctor. The Daleks are bigger, brighter and scarier than on the small screen, as the movie was shot in glorious widescreen Technicolour! Rarely screened in cinemas nowadays, this is inventive British sci-fi at its best, not to be missed in the school holidays.

October is the month of Hallowe'en and the Picture House has lined up some suitably scary treats. Kicking the spooky season off is Carry on Screaming (PG) on 30 October. Released in 1966, the twelfth film in the Carry On franchise features most of the usual suspects: Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Simms, Jim Dale, and the recently-departed Fenella Fielding, who stole the film as Valeria. This is one of the best Carry Ons - and it's just a little bit scary as well. Has there ever been a better-named monster than 'Oddbod'?

Next in the Hallowe'en season is a double bill of horror on Wednesday 31 October, with Frankenstein and Dracula (15). Frankenstein stars Boris Karloff as the monster creation of an over-ambitious doctor in this 1931 film adaptation of Mary Shelley's gothic horror novel. Released in 1958, the British film Dracula was the first Hammer Horror film to star both Christopher Lee (Count Dracula) and Peter Cushing (Dr Van Helsing). The big question is - are you brave enough to see both in the same evening?

Finishing the season off is The Exorcist - Director's Cut (18) on Thursday 1 November. This 1973 supernatural horror is widely regarded as one of the greatest terrifying films of all time, and the Director's Cut adds extra footage and scenes to William Friedken's masterpiece.

It's not all about the screams: there's plenty of drama too, with two live cinema events in October. Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest will be live direct from the stage of the Vaudeville Theatre, London, on Tuesday 9 October at 7.15pm. Michael Fentimen's adaptation brings new and vital air into this well-loved comedy, starring Sophie Thompson (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Harry Potter) as Lady Bracknell. On Tuesday 16 October at 7.15pm, the ballet Mayerling will be shown pre-recorded from the Royal Opera House. The ballet boasts emotional depth, haunting imagery and one of the most demanding roles ever created for a male dancer.

All the Chelmsford Picture House films, apart from live theatre screenings and Doctor Who and the Daleks, start at 7.30pm. 

For full details and to book tickets, visit or call the Box Office on 01245 606505.

Tuesday 9 October 2018

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